Mumbai: Foot soldiers stop illicit booze maker in his tracks

Updated: Aug 10, 2019, 08:07 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Patrolling at SGNP intensified since June this year nets first accused

Mumbai: Foot soldiers stop illicit booze maker in his tracks
The liquor brewing unit

A 41-year-old Palghar resident was caught by the forest patrolling team while transporting illicit liquor through the Nagla area of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Officials said this was thanks to the increased patrolling in the Yeoor Range of the park since June. The team that caught the man was led by Range Forest Officer Rajendra Pawar. In the past one year a total of 20-25 illicit liquor brewing units have been demolished by forest department officials and guards at SGNP.

"For the past many months we have increased day-and-night patrolling. A few days back, we had got a tip-off from our sources about an illicit liquor brewing unit near a nullah in Nagla. We planned a strategy and patrolling on foot, spotted one person carrying a tyre tube. Our staff nabbed him and found illicit liquor inside the tube," Pawar told mid-day.

The tyre tube used to transport the illicit brew
The tyre tube used to transport the illicit brew

The accused has been identified as Kamlakar Mali, 41, a resident of Kholande Village in Palghar district. The forest department recovered 20 litres of illicit liquor from him and booked him under sections of the Indian Forest Act, Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Sources said time and again they have brought the issue of illicit liquor brewing units and their transportation to the notice of the State Excise Department and letters, too, have been sent but there has been no response.

"We had already given the letter to the state excise to prevent such activities, but they have not responded till date, which also proves how serious they are," said a highly-placed source The team that was a part of the operation included Ramakant More, Madan Gadekar, Meghraj Jagle, Chandrakant Borde, Kumar Pawar, Hemant Thakur, Nandkumar Vaity and forest watchers Ananta Saravne and Hitesh Bhoir.

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